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Hyde admits ‘falling short’ after Cally tenant forced to endure terrible living conditions

PUBLISHED: 15:22 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 16 February 2018

Billie Harris, who lives in the Cally's Hyde Village Estate, has accused Hyde of neglect. Picture: Polly Hancock

Billie Harris, who lives in the Cally's Hyde Village Estate, has accused Hyde of neglect. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A Cally housing association tenant has accused landlord Hyde of neglect after being forced to endure grim living conditions for more than a year.

Billie Harris, who lives in the Cally's Hyde Village Estate, has accused Hyde of neglect. Picture: Polly HancockBillie Harris, who lives in the Cally's Hyde Village Estate, has accused Hyde of neglect. Picture: Polly Hancock

Billie Harris claims Hyde has constantly broken the terms of its contract since she moved into a flat in the Hyde Village Estate, Corporation Street.

The firm has now apologised for “falling short” of standards and vowed to put things right.

When Billie signed her tenancy forms in late 2016, Hyde agreed to deal with dodgy windows. But when the Gazette visited Billie yesterday, the kitchen windowsill was on the verge of collapsing and the glass in her living room window was loose.

Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry has tried to intervene as other issues developed in the flat. They include asbestos detection, the shower packing up and poor heating.

More than a year since moving in, Billie has still not been able to settle in, claiming her complaints to Hyde have been ignored.

“Hyde won’t even deal with me now,” she said. “We’re just going backwards and forwards. When I didn’t pay rent, because they had broken the terms of the contract, I got an eviction warning notice.

Billie Harris, who lives in the Cally's Hyde Village Estate, has accused Hyde of neglect. Picture: Polly HancockBillie Harris, who lives in the Cally's Hyde Village Estate, has accused Hyde of neglect. Picture: Polly Hancock

“I think Hyde just don’t want to spend money. I understand budget cuts. I work in a school.

“But all I am asking is for a duty of care for their tenants, to make sure this property is safe for my children. I’m simply asking them to fulfil their promises.”

Billie’s ordeal is made worse by the fact her family moved from a “lovely” new build in Holloway. She needed a bigger house as her son and daughter were sharing a room. “I understand I’m the one who agreed to move in,” she said, “but they should be helping me.

“There are people living in worse conditions. But we shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to listen to people tell us ‘no’ when they have so much money.

“They deal with me like an annoying old woman who doesn’t shut up. But they can go home to a warm house. I’m left working out how to keep my children warm.”

When the Gazette approached Hyde, Vicki Sanderson, head of responsive repairs, said: “Hyde always tries to provide a high standard of service to our customers and we are sorry that on this occasion it has fallen short of those standards.

“We have an appointment with Ms Harris to repair her windows and complete a small repair to a fire door.”

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